It’s been around for years now but seems quite modern at the same time. A bunch of 16 kids, talking about how we adults see them, judge them, look after them, ignore them and so on. Spoken by kids, content is for adults. An hour’s play that’s just factual statement after statement:
You feed us. You wash us. You dress us. You sing to us. You watch us when we are sleeping. You explain to us the different causes of illness and the different causes of war. You whisper when you think we can’t hear.
Written by Tim Etchells. This play is actually intimidating for those in the audience. Being called out for bullshit, the way we treat young people, the way we interact with ourselves. Silences and stares making you uneasy in your seat. It’s excellent. Funny moments and serious and dark tinges.
The audience when we were there were mostly the parents of the kids and were laughing and clapping at many parts of the play. Kids saying fucking and motherfucking seemed to have gotten a shocked and hilarious reaction from the crowd. Naturally a whopping standing ovation at the end. And warranted.
A very talented bunch of kids. Some amazing performances from some in particular. Worth seeing when it comes back into your town.
President Michael D. Higgins’ Being Young and Irish 2012 consultation workshops began today. The first of the roadshows took place in DIT Bolton Street this morning. More roadshows will be happening in Cork (September 15th), Monaghan (September 22nd) and Galway (September 29th) in the next while. The idea is getting Young People in a room and getting them to say what they think the country needs to do in the next while and where priorities should be. Groups proposed different ideas and then voted on them. Today they voted and said these are of importance or as the blurb said:
Then in plenary session the young people voted on their vision for Ireland and established, with the support of D.I.T. researchers, the top 10 most important aspects of that vision.
100 people (so far) are of the belief that equality and accountability are very important to the country. Here’s the full list.
1a. Equality – gay marriage – gender – wage/salary = equality in Ireland*
1b.Accountability – leaders – finance – systems – services – government
3. A suitable completed education that includes special needs, life-skills, practical aspects, and is holistic
4. Mental health and suicide ,awareness, mainstreaming. Bottom up approach and input from role models. Detachment of taboo
5a. Cultural identity – recognition of importance of language, history and arts**
5b. Accountable political system (reform) – participation structures, responsibility
7. Move from apathy to proactive participation, youth-led change and innovation. Removal of jargon and buzz words in communication with youth
8. Improvement in the planning and implementation of green technologies
9. More opportunities and less exploitation in youth employment
Trailblaze came to Cork for the Cork Midsummer Festival and it took place in the Triskel. A great line-up of speakers in a beautiful location.
Everyday Epiphanies and Altered States was the theme for their first time in Cork.
Speakers were Steve Collins, Dylan Tighe, Carmel Winters, Niamh Gunn, Sheena Matheiken, Brother Richard, Robbie Hamilton, Stevie G
I liked a good few talks and ones that shone through was one from Brother Richard for the UCC Chaplaincy and a talk from Carmel Winters really resonated. It was a story about her Aunt Eily who was in a convent til her 70s. A great short talk about seeking truth and truths and the idea two different ideas can be right and wrong at the same time. I would listen to her all day, great intellect and language skills.
There’s one more post about a Midsummer event and then I’m done about it for a while I’m sure. Overall I really liked the eclectic mix of events I got to see. A lot of imagination, youth and energy was experienced by me. I hope that the energy, I sucked in like a vampire will help me with things I do for work and pleasure in the next few months. Batteries certainly were recharged in the past 10 days because of these events. It’d be great to see more people at the events of course. Maybe there should be a big brother, big sister type programme to bring people that have never been before.
Court. Running for a few days in the Cork Midsummer festival was Court. The setting was the Court House in Cork City. A beautiful building I was never in before. A choir used the space, which being a place of large rooms and pillars can be interesting. The pitch for the event is thus:
For In The Name Of The People, we encounter the Cork Chamber Choir in the imposing entrance hall of the court house, who move through the space and sing an a capella rendition of a Renaissance liturgy as well as texts from judgements laid down in this building.
The choir first sang down to us in the foyer area and then walked down.
Part of their work was name-checking Irish cases and reading from judgments that occurred within the walls of this Court. The choir also walked around, in and around the crowd themselves. The sound was fantastic and I loved the concept. In a way it takes the energy from the ghost from lives that have been changed in this building and brought them out through accessible singing.
Nice to see the Court opened up too. All in all, I liked it. Might have been a tad too “comedic” at the start but the visceral Court experiences later on made it a strong enough piece. Delighted I legged it from Dublin and got to see it.
Been chatting to people of late about them running their own events, from conferences to awards shows, to annual days out. Depending on what kind of event you’re running, putting a conference together can cost from 8k to 15k, depending on the location, food and numbers of people. Venue rental and food are normally the biggest costs.
Might as well share some of the things I’ve learned (some at a stiff cost) about running conferences.
In terms of headline sponsor, try and have your headliner’s fee cover most of your infrastructural expenses. So venue, speakers, MC, etc. covered by the headline sponsor. If you also have other sponsors, their fee would go into these expenses too. Then ticket sales can pay for food and non-essential but nice-to-have items. Realex Payments, Bord Gais Energy, DoneDeal.ie, National College of Ireland have all been headliners at events and I would mostly have had working relationships with them so when working on ideas for events, I would have sounded them out in advance. Getting commitment from a headliner before announcing and spending on an event is quite soothing.
I see ticket sales as where you see the profit. In theory anyway! It just makes it easier for me to calculate costs and revenue when I see x tickets means y profit. With headline and possibly category (if an awards) sponsor, you pay for all the bits that you need to run your event with no frills and then the Y bit is for fun stuff.
You then add in frills when your ticket sales come in. 500 quid in ticket sales = you can now buy cupcakes and sweets. A further 1000 and you can get funkier lights instead of just the venue supplied lights. (Did this with the Web Awards last year, waste of money) 500 in sales for Measurement.ie allowed us to Livestream the event for example.
Have a list of what you “can’t do without” at the event and a list of what “you would like to have”. If you see ticket sales come in and everything in the “can’t do without” list has been covered, look at the “would like to have” list. Don’t go mad though as stuff you forgot about will occur and you will have to pay for that. (The sweet jars being nicked at the Social Media Awards last year ended up with me being fined a few hundred euros.) Ice cream trucks, bouncy castles and all of that are also great for PR for the next event.
If you work with people you trust you don’t need to worry or check up on them. Rick O’Shea, Michelle McCormick, Ryan Whalley, Brian Greene, John Williams, Fran Hollywood are involved with most of my events, they turn up, do their thing, exchange nods with me and we’re away and fine. Aoife in the Mansion House is the same. “Usual?” “Yeah, usual”. People are the most important thing in your planning and if you have the right people in place, you can sleep the nights before the event.
Look after those people then. If the budget stretches, bring them out to dinner, get them good rooms in good hotels and remember to thank the shit out of them in front of others. (I always end up forgetting to thank someone so I have finally started writing my thank yous in advance)
The Blog Awards always left me owing money to people but the experience allowed me to do the Web Awards and Social Media Awards. Running social media mini-events called Measure It! showed me there was an appetite for the Measurement.ie event. Run some other smaller events to see how well you work with your team and see how the public reacts to the events.
Give complimentary tickets to business partners, media and those that you can’t pay for the help but want to thank in some small way. While you see comped tickets as being free, if there’s food on the night, you are paying €12-€15 a head for them so you do still need to budget for “free” tickets.
Work the room
The Web Awards suffered last year from ticket sales and sponsors because I was too busy with the day job. This meant less fun things on the night. You have to work hard on social media, email and phonecalls. Remind without bothering about your event. Share the milestones (50 tickets sold, 100 submissions so far, two new sponsors) Every time we tweeted about Measurement.ie ticket sales, we got more ticket sales.
Hope that helps. I hope to run another event or two this year and add to the regular events stable next year too. If you want to be a headliner, you know where I am.
Colm O’Regan is doing his standup show Dislike in Project Arts on December 16th and 17th. Colm did a mini-version at the Web Awards this year and it got a great reaction from the web savvy crowd. It’s worth a look if you’re a Facebook addict, someone that loves the web and/or someone that finds the bailout and financial crisis to be sad but also darkly funny. Or you will after. Tickets are the same as a packet of cigarettes after the next budget. (€12/€10)
Fund It though is localised and with it, it has a vibrant community of people in the arts, trying to build creative or crazy projects with the help of the general public. I’ve been impressed with the way people are taking to it both as those soliciting funds and those contributing 5 euros, 10 euros or 500 euros. I’ve asked three people who have used Fund It for projects to share their thoughts on using Fund It. To note: I started writing this post in August and have finally had time to put it all together now.
You’ve used Fund It for Year of Magical Wanking, anything else?
I lead the Year Of Magical Wanking campaign, and have advised the Late Fragments as well as some smaller advice to Paper Dolls.
Why use the Fund It route? What would you have done previous to this?
For theatre, some other options are:
Apply to the Arts Council for a grant.
Don’t do the show.
Do the show with everyone working for free as well as beg borrowing and stealing equipment, props etc.
Fund It allows a project to reward people who wish to pledge money to their campaign. If the rewards are good enough, then it becomes less about charity and more of an exchange. For emerging companies or for projects that are unlikely to be eligible for public funding, Fund It offers an opportunity to raise all or part of the money needed to get a project off the ground. I guess it’s the modern equivalent of a Pub Quiz fundraiser – only now you don’t have to go to a boring quiz, and you might actually ‘win’ something you want.
Is there much work involved in running a Fund It drive? Setting up seems ok. There seems to be a lot of work in doing frequent updates/reminders about a campaign, did you have a plan of action for this?
There is a lot of work involved in creating your project. It’s good to make a video specific to your campaign – writing clear copy for your homepage and working on rewards that are worth pledging cash for but are also achievable (while not burning a giant hole in the total you’ve raised – there’s no point in raising 3k and spending half of it issuing rewards). Once the campaign is created, I would advise making a plan of how to roll out your campaign – how to keep it fresh and afloat for the time period you’ve chosen. We had a full plan of how, who and when we were updating social media sites, direct mails, mailshots etc etc. You have to constantly drive the campaign.
What were the main lessons learned from using Fund It, would you have advice for those thinking of using Fund It themselves for the first time?
I’m not entirely sure about lessons learned. there’s very little that I wouldn’t do again. my main advice is to choose a realistic target – ask yourself who is going to pledge money to your campaign and why. I’d advise people to have a really good campaign video – really clear copy (be economic with words – no waffle). Identify who is rolling out your project – there may be ten people involved but only four might be web savvy, so who is gonna drive the thing? I would advise people to question their social media networks – do they have enough friends, fans and followers to warrant sufficient interest in the project? And also to use Fund It as a way of giving friends and family an outlet to support their work. After that – my advice is to sit on the project until the very last day. it can be hard work – but no-one gets thousands of euros easily. Thank people, acknowledge people and be grateful. People are parting with hard earned cash – it’s incredible.
Any other thoughts you’d like to add?
I think Fund It has some other plusses. For theatre, I believe it’s a way of cultivating an audience. Before a show opens you already have X amount of ambassadors who will not only buy a ticket, but they’ll bring friends. They’ll tell people about this project they’ve invested in and they’ll talk about it. I also think it’s interesting to invite people to take a closer look at the artistic process – let them know how much things cost and how things are made. It can make the art form seem far less elite, and certainly for me that’s important.
Being a Mulley type awards gig, we try and make it as informal and fun as we can. Or childish. Sometimes this is the same thing.
I had an idea for the Web Awards that we could start handing goodies in the form of sweets out to people in the audience. Then when I fleshed this out I thought a fun way to do this is to package the sweets in airline trays and hand them out row by row. And to make it more fun again I envisaged drag queens (it is my objective to have drag queens be involved in some way in a Mulley gig in the next while just to intimidate and amuse some straightlaced hetero males) dressed up as trolley dollys handing out the trays to rows of people. A combination of the High Life and Willy Wonka.
Sourcing the trays was the issue though. Drag queens are a plenty. I think I would have had to buy at least 100,000 units in order to get the trays. Did my best to find local sources but nobody seemed to get access to a supplier. Ah well, another time.
Still, we did have Pushcakes from Curious Cupcakes. Cupcakes done like pushpop lollipops.